Running Injuries That Are Easy To Avoid

Running is a great way to stay in shape and it doesn’t come with a lot of the same dangers as competitive team sports, but that doesn’t mean you can’t injure yourself. Runners have their own set of risks to deal with and if you don’t run with good form, using the right gear, you could put yourself out of action and it’ll take a while to recover. There are a couple of injuries that runners often fall prey to, here’s what they are and how you can avoid them.

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Plantar Fasciitis

This is just a fancy name for an inflammation on the bottom of the foot. It usually gives you a sharp pain in the heel or the arch of the foot. It can be a slight annoyance but if you leave it untreated for too long, it’ll soon become incredibly painful. The two main causes are overworking and lack of proper footwear. If you haven’t got proper running shoes on, you won’t have enough support and you open yourself up to injury. Choosing the right one is a bit of a minefield but if you check out the Running Shoes Guru you’ll find plenty of great reviews to help you find the right ones. Good support should stop you from getting Plantar Fasciitis, as long as you aren’t running too often.

It’s tempting to get out and run every day when you’re constantly competing with yourself and trying to smash your best time. But you’ve got no chance of beating your record if you can’t run at all. Even with the best running shoes, your feet can only take so much. If you overwork them you’ll almost certainly end up with problems, so always take a couple of days off throughout the week.

Achilles Tendinitis   

This one is the Achilles heel of runners everywhere. All it means is that you’ve got inflammation in your Achilles tendon. It takes a long while to heal because there isn’t that much blood flow to the area so preventing it is vital. You’ll get pain around your heel and up the back of your foot, there’s also a lot of swelling that can make it unbearable to walk, let alone run.

Tight calves are one of the main culprits of an Achilles injury because if your calves aren’t taking enough of the impact, it all gets put on the Achilles tendon. If you overtrain and your calves are suffering because of it, you’re likely to develop an Achilles injury. You’re also at risk if there are sudden increases in the intensity of your training. If you’ve decided that your current training regimes just aren’t pushing you hard enough, you’ll want to take things up a notch. But if you go from running twice a week to five times a week and increase the distance at the same time, you’ll hurt yourself. Always increase the intensity gradually over a few weeks and you should be fine.

Iliotibial Tendon

This is a tendon that runs from your hip to your knee and there are all sorts of ways that you can damage it. If you’re feeling a sharp stabbing pain in the side of your knee when you run, that’s a sure sign of an IT injury.

Running downhill a lot is one of the causes because the angle of the incline puts extra stress on your IT. When you run, you usually run with a slight lean, even if you don’t notice it. Running on different sides of the roads helps you to balance it out a bit but if you’re always taking the same route, you could be putting extra stress on your legs. Changing up your route to cut out hills and run in different directions is the best way to avoid an IT injury.

Runner’s Knee

If you experience a dull ache under the kneecap whenever you run, you’ve got runner’s knee. It’s caused by different things in different people but there are a couple of common causes. Not wearing proper footwear is one, but that can be said of pretty much any running injury. Running on uneven ground is another big cause of runner’s knee that can be solved fairly easily by changing your route or buying running shoes with a spongier sole. If you’ve got weak quads or hips, your knees are picking up all the slack.

When it comes to sorting the problem the bottom line is, don’t run if it hurts. Try new footwear and always put an ice pack on it when you’ve got pain.

Most running injuries are caused by overwork, bad form, and lack of proper footwear. If you know what you’re doing and you invest in the right gear, you should be fine.  

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John James Audubon State Park

I love finding beautiful places to explore, and photograph. Nature/landscape are easily my favorite things to capture with my camera.

This past weekend I was invited to try my first trail run at the John James Audubon State Park. 

Being from Oregon, the love of trees and nature is part of me, so I was very thankful to find such a beautiful place so close to where I now live. 

The trail run was much harder than I expected, and I am already looking forward to going back and trying again. 

I didn’t take my camera with me, but I was able to take a few pictures with my iPhone. I feel that I was still able to capture the beauty of this park.

   

  

  

Let’s Talk – Passing Runners

  

Being a runner, a “road runner” I guess, I pass many different people during my outings. Today I’ll be covering the whole “passing runners” topic from a few different views. I hope that runners/walkers, bikers, and drivers alike benefit from this post. 

A lot of this is probably “common sense”, but we all know that isn’t that common these days. 

Passing a Runner while Driving

As a runner, and I am sure any other runners have to do this, I run on the road. (Now before I go further, yes, I know there are “off road” paths and trails, but sometimes getting to those takes extra time we don’t have, and we just need to get our run in.) I always make sure to run against traffic, and I stay as close to the curb, or edge as I can, and I see that the majority of runners out there do the same. 

While driving, always give extra space, even when a runner is in a bike lane. This not only show us that you SEE is, but that your respect our space on the road as well. 

Giving us space also allows for us to avoid things in our path you may not be able to see, thus giving us room to get around them safely. Seriously, I really do not want to step in that dog poop…or on that dead frog. 

I have, sadly, had encounters of some pretty poor drivers. One person actually started crossing the line TOWARD me during a run, another turned in front of me causing me the need to slow down nearly to a stop in the middle of the road. These things should not happen and are not okay. Pay attention while driving and be aware of those around you. 

Also keep in mind, running is hard. Whether the runner is doing 1 mile or 10, they’re out there giving their best effort, working hard. Give them a wave or a thumbs up, this is such a great boost, and keeps us going. 

(My favorite yet was the bearded biker dude who said “WOW!” as he passed me recently. Yeah, that made my day.)

Passing a Driver while Running

Runners, the same courtesy should go for us as well. 

Be sure that if a driver didn’t give you space it wasn’t because they didn’t have room in the other lane to give. 

If they do give space, always be sure to acknowledge it with wave. It’s amazing what a little kindness can do. 

If they give you a thumbs up or wave, again, acknowledge it! Seriously, kindness is free, spread it around!

  
Runners Passing Runners

I feel like I shouldn’t even have to cover this, but sadly after today, I’ll address it.

If you’re going to pass another runner, same side, same direction, or not; don’t just pass them like they aren’t there. Say something, wave, smile! 

This happened to me and it actually really bugged me. 

I heard the person coming and stayed my path, leaving plenty of safe space from traffic. When they passed I looked over to give a smile and say hello, and it was like I wasn’t there. 

We are all working hard when we are out there. Let’s boost each other up, encourage each other, and watch how much happier we all are by doing so!
My last thought to drivers: Keep in mind that I can see you while driving, GET OFF YOUR PHONE!